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Aidan Joly’s bracketology: January 31

Aidan Joly



A topsy-turvy week in college basketball comes to a close, including a day where #1 Villanova, #2 Kansas and #4 Kentucky all go down on the same night, it cleared the path for a new #1, Gonzaga. We now sit just 43 days away from Selection Sunday.

Biggest winner: West Virginia is back, and they’re legit. A 16-point win Kansas last Tuesday and a solid win over Texas A&M Saturday helped propel them to #7 in the nation from #18 last week. They take on Iowa State on Tuesday night followed by a match up with Oklahoma State Saturday is their slate for the coming week.

Biggest loser: It looks like Xavier will struggle the rest of the way. They fell to Cincinnati on Thursday, and got even worse news on Monday when it was announced the Edmond Sumner would miss the remainder of the season with a torn ACL, and fell out of the top 25 rankings Monday as well. They will try to re-invent themselves this week against Seton Hall on Wednesday and Creighton on Saturday without Sumner.
Note: A team with an (*) denotes a new team in the bracket.


West Region:
1: Gonzaga vs 16: UC Irvine/Georgia State*
8: VCU vs 9: Iowa State
5: South Carolina vs 12: Georgia Tech
4: Maryland vs 13: Belmont
6: Purdue vs 11: Arkansas
3: Virginia vs 14: Florida Gulf Coast
7: Wichita State vs 10: Miami
2: West Virginia vs 15: UNC Asheville

East Region:
1: Villanova vs 16: Weber State
8: Virginia Tech vs 9: Minnesota
5: Notre Dame vs 12: UNC Wilmington
4: Oregon vs 13: Valparaiso
6: Duke vs 11: Marquette
3: Wisconsin vs 14: East Tennessee State
7: Florida vs 10: Middle Tennessee State
2: Arizona vs 15: Bucknell

Midwest Region:
1: Kansas vs 16: UNC Central/Mount St. Mary’s*
8: USC vs 9: Indiana
5: Cincinnati vs 12: Oklahoma State/Richmond*
4: Butler vs 13: Nevada
6: Northwestern vs 11: New Mexico State
3: North Carolina vs 14: North Dakota State
7: SMU vs 10: Utah
2: Kentucky vs 15: Princeton

South Region:
1: Baylor vs 16: Texas Southern
8: Illinois State vs 9: Akron
5: St. Mary’s vs 12: Dayton
4: Florida State vs 13: Monmouth
6: Creighton vs 11: North Carolina State/Michigan
3: UCLA vs 14: Vermont
7: Xavier vs 10: Kansas State
2: Louisville vs 15: Sam Houston State


Conferences with multiple bids:

  1. ACC, 10
  2. Big 10, 7
  3. Big 12, 6
  4. Pac 12, Big East, 5
  5. SEC, 4
  6. Atlantic 10, 3
  7. WCC, Missouri Valley, 2

Aidan Joly joined Upstate Courier Sports in February 2016 and became managing editor of the sports department in August 2017. He covers Section II athletics, the Siena men's basketball team and the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League. Aidan attends Saratoga Springs High School and will be attending Canisius College in the fall of 2018. Aidan can be contacted through social media (Twitter is @ByAidanJoly) or by email,